14 October 2006

Greater Love Has No Man

During my 20 years with the US Navy I had the opportunity to meet some of these "special" people that make up the most elite units of the United States Navy, and in my opinion the most elite and effective warriors on the entire planet. I have always been in awe of these men, and somewhat hesitant to claim them as brothers because my service did not rise to their level. But we were brothers in arms nonetheless.

They don't talk much about where they have been, indeed most of them won't mention their association with the Teams at all unless you specifically ask. They aren't in it for the glory, to them it is a job that needs to be done. But they throw the best parties.

I never got a chance to meet this gentleman, although I did run into a few of his compatriots. Allow me to introduce Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Micheal A. Monsoor.

Petty Officer Monsoor will not be able to join us today. He has demonstrated the meaning of the Bible verse John 15:13 and in doing so has proven his place in Odin's Hall. He will likely deny that he deserves such an honor, he saw something that needed doing and he did it, nothing more.

What he saw that needed doing was a grenade that had to be neutralized before it could kill his fellow SEALs. He neutralized it with his own body, throwing himself on it and absorbing the blast. Two other SEALS were injured in the incident, and Petty Officer Monsoor gave his life to prevent them more serious injury.

But there's more. Petty Officer Monsoor was already a hero, he and another teammate had previously pulled a wounded man out of the line of fire at great personal risk to themselves. Once again, just a job that needed to be done. For that incident he was (posthumously) awarded the Silver Star. The written citation for that award will have a standard blurb at the bottom that will read something like this:

"By his bold initiative, undaunted courage, and complete dedication to duty, Petty Officer Monsoor reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the United States Navy."

Well done shipmate.

Fair winds and following seas. Valhalla awaits you.
AP photo

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